Day 19: Sagrada Familia (por fin)

Since tomorrow is the day students will present their final projects, today was the last day of classes. Students in the photography class, enjoyed their final photo excursion between Plaza Cataluña and the halls of the University of Barcelona, which is a beautiful, old building with tiled floors and quaint courtyards.

In the afternoon, the majority of the program had tickets to see the world-renowned Sagrada Familia (finally!). Tomorrow, another small group of 13 students will also have the chance to go before the final dinner! Antoni Gaudí’s La Sagrada Familia is still a work in process. In fact, the price of each ticket goes towards the construction of the final towers. It is said that Sagrada Familia will be finished in the year 2026 which will be 144 years after the first stone was laid. We hope the students will return to Barcelona in the future and have the opportunity to see the finished product, as we are sure it will be awe-inspiring.

Two smaller groups, one who enjoyed free time in the city center and the other which rested and packed their suitcases at the residence, were able to meet up with their friends for dinner around the Sagrada Familia to see it lit up at night! Buenas noches, bona nit, goodnight.


Day 18: An afternoon of art

Our last week in Barcelona is flying by! Today was the students’ last Wednesday of classes and for the cooking students it was also the last cooking workshop of the program. On the menu today was tortilla española (Spanish omelette), albóndigas (meatballs), calamares (fried calamari), and crema catalana (a typical Spanish dessert). We certainly hope some of the students will share these recipes with all of you! Gastronomy is a great way of learning more about Spain and its culture.

In the afternoon, many students visited the Miró Foundation, a museum dedicated to Spanish artist Joan Miró. At the Miró museum, highlights included learning about the logo Miró designed for the 1992 Olympic Games, seeing a fountain made with liquid mercury (which is now behind glass for safety reasons), and exploring the gift shops!

On the coast of Barcelona, a handful of students enjoyed their last day of beach this afternoon. They went to Nova Icaria, a beach that is popular with locals situated nearby to the Olympic Port.

After dinner at the residence, RA Lisa will offer a special one-time activity to make a homemade souvenir from Barcelona. With Barcelona maps, stamps, markers, and more, students will have the opportunity to design a decoration to bring home as a reminder of their trip. That’s all from Barcelona today!

Day 17: Montjuic, Museums, and Malls

Hello from Barcelona! After a pretty routine Tuesday morning at ESADE, the photography students had their second opportunity to explore the city with our guest photography teacher, Samantha. Samantha picked up the students in a classic car (a convertible we might add) and took them to two exciting locations to take photos: Montjuic and Sagrada Familia. Safe to say these students will be missing their photo class after the trip. Every day with Samantha is a blast!

At 5 pm, the photography students returned to ESADE to meet up with the others. From there, a group set off for MNAC (the Catalan art museum) and another group headed to the mall. As we’ve mentioned before, July in Barcelona is a great time to shop since all of the stores are on sale! Many students have requested more shopping time so today at L’Illa mall was their opportunity to shop, shop, shop ’til they drop. Across town at the museum, the other group of students learned about Catalan artists and different ages of art throughout the region’s history. The boys also took in the stunning architecture of MNAC, which was built as a palace for the royals to accept various international guests during the world exhibition of 1929.

That’s all from Barcelona. See you back here tomorrow!


Day 16: Trying Tapas


Today was the students’ last Monday at ESADE and they have been working hard to prepare final projects and presentations that are due on Friday. Just a few more days until classes wrap up!

It was also our last RA lunch today. Since the start of the program, we’ve organized lunches with the Resident Advisors so students can ask questions, get advice on their classes or navigating the city, get to know the other students in their group, etc. Our final RA lunch took place today in Gràcia, the same neighborhood where some of the students chose to spend their afternoon free time.



Those students who did not choose free time went on a tapas tour through Gràcia. The group on the tapas tour enjoyed the opportunity to try local foods such as butifarra (Spanish sausage), jamón ibérico, jamón serrano, chocolate alla catalana with melindros (a dessert like ladyfingers) and gelato. YUM!


After a busy afternoon in the city center, the students returned to the residence for a hearty dinner, some billiards, cardgames and hanging out. More updates coming your way tomorrow. Buenas noches.

Day 15: Soaking up the Sitges sun

And just like that it’s Sunday again. We enjoyed our last day of the weekend in Sitges, a beach town less than an hour away from Barcelona. Sitges is well-known for its Carnaval celebration during the spring. Both locals and tourists take to the streets of Sitges in costumes to dance and sing in parades. This time of year, however, Sitges attracts a beach crowd. Beyond soaking up the sun, students found delicious beach-side restaurants and checked out Sitges’ local shops.

Now that we are back in Barcelona, many students have tuned in to the World Cup final between France and Croatia. Tomorrow is week 3 already! We can hardly believe it.

Day 14: Diving into Dalí’s World

Salvador Dalí was a brilliant artist and a somewhat peculiar man. Today we took the students to his museum in Figueres, Cataluña. Unlike many artists, Dalí was alive and well when his museum was being built and he was very much a part of the design process. We like to say that the actual museum is one of his works of art too! Just ask your son/daughter what they thought of the tour. Maybe they’ll mention an optical illusion painting of Abe Lincoln, the dome that was fashioned after a fly’s eye, or Mae West’s face (which doubles as a bedroom). If all of these things sound confusing or bizarre, they should! You need to see the Dalí museum to believe us — it’s magical.

After Dalí, we got back onto the bus for a few hours of beach time. The bus dropped us off in L’Escala where we spent the rest of the day relaxing. What a wonderful Saturday it was.

Day 13: TGI Friday!!

It’s Friday and we’re super excited for the weekend! Since students don’t attend their normal classes on Friday, ESADE organized for the business students to participate in a special coding workshop at CodeWorks while the Spanish students went with their teachers to the Monastery of Pedralbes.

After lunch, a bus picked us up to bring us to the highest point of the city: Tibidabo. Tibidabo is a theme park situated at the top of the mountain overlooking the city. Most students decided to enter the theme park, however Tibidabo has much more to offer than rides. At Tibidabo, there is also a beautiful church that we encourage students to see every year. If you climb (or take the elevator) all the way to the top, there are 360 degree views of the area and they are quite breathtaking. A handful of students opted for the beach instead of Tibidabo. Each year we have at least a small group who LOVES their beach time so we’re glad that RAs Rob and Cristina were able to take them back to Barceloneta beach.

The group is now at the residence getting ready for dinner. Tonight we will be having dinner in the neighborhood of Gracia. The staff members have recommended restaurants and everyone seems excited about an opportunity to get dressed up and have dinner in the city center. Tomorrow we will be heading to the Dalí museum and a beach town called L’Escala. In years past, this Saturday has always been many of the students’ favorite excursion. Let’s see if it lives up to the hype!!

Day 12: La Boquería and Rebajas

This morning students got a little break from class to attend an ESADE admissions presentation followed by snacks and time to chat with their classmates. The photography class also welcomed a new teacher today, a local photographer named Samantha who focuses on portraits. This photographer will be guest teaching the class for the next two sessions and will teach more advanced photo-taking techniques. Today, Samantha took the students to the market and to a theater called the Palau de la Música Catalana.

In the afternoon, we all hopped onto the metro to go down to two neighborhoods: Raval and Eixample. The group in Raval had free time in the Boquería market off of Las Ramblas and also time to explore the surrounding area. The group in Eixample was all about the shopping! Since there are city-wide sales in Barcelona this month (called rebajas), the students have been quite excited about snagging some good deals. Hopefully nobody has to bring home an extra suitcase!

Now we’re gearing up for the night that everybody has been waiting for: Chito’s karaoke night! The students have had a few days to think about what songs they want to sing and so has the staff. One of our beat-boxing staff members will definitely surprise the students with his incredible talent tonight. Hope your day has been as fun as ours has. See you back here tomorrow.